Flood Dangers at WorkMay 3, 2019
Floods can be severe and are often difficult to predict. Similar to other weather-related disasters, floods are dangerous, and account for property damage and injuries. Flooding is not a seasonal event; it can occur year-round due to many different situations. It is always best to be prepared if flooding occurs at work.
Floods can occur from mudslides or landslides, an immense accumulation of rain, inadequate drainage systems, dam failures, rising tides or rivers, and by other means. It is because of these unpredictable circumstances that make floods so hazardous. Workers that respond to floods are the most at-risk to the dangers. Everyone, including employers and their workers, need to plan for the event of a flood accident to protect themselves and others.
Dangers of Flooding
There are several dangers that flooding causes. The following are the dangers and ways to prepare for them:
- Electrocution: Often, floodwaters can reach electrical circuits and power strips. It is strongly advised to turn off the main electrical switches, if available, and avoid all areas where electrical equipment is wet. Avoid fallen cables or wires, and do not touch anything plugged into an outlet.
- Driving during a flood: Most people assume that their car can drive through floodwaters, but it is extremely risky and hazardous. A vehicle can float in just one foot of water, be swept away from two feet of moving water, and can stall from just six inches of standing water. Half of all flood-related fatalities are vehicle-related. If trapped in a vehicle, it is best to stay inside until help arrives, unless water starts to rise inside the vehicle. If that occurs, seek safety on the roof of the vehicle.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning: Generators, pumps, and other gasoline or diesel operated equipment release carbon monoxide, if not used in a properly ventilated area. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can cause death if inhaled continuously. Gasoline or diesel equipment should only be used outside or in ventilated areas.
- Illness and diseases: Floodwaters can also carry germs and diseases with them, possibly spreading malaria or the flu. Those that must be in floodwaters should be properly dressed by wearing rubber insulated clothing, as well as boots and gloves. They should also make sure to keep themselves and their equipment sanitary to help protect against harmful germs and bacteria. Hypothermia can also occur if not kept warm and dry during a flood.
Other dangers from flooding include fallen trees and debris, improper lifting during clean up, falling, tripping, and drowning. Misplaced rodents and snakes can be found during clean up and bite those unaware. Fires can also occur from damaged fire protection equipment. Employees working in floodwaters or during clean up should be properly trained in both preparation and evacuation plans.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Workers
If you were injured at work, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. We will help you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.